April 20th, 2018

Don’t Go Deaf — Understand Risks of Concussive Hearing Loss

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

Did you know you can damage your hearing even if you are wearing the best hearing protection available? Well, have you ever heard of concussion (or concussive) hearing loss? There is no amount of anything you can put in or over your ears to protect you from concussion loss. My audiologist explained to me the concussion comes through the facial bone structure and damages the ear’s tiny bones.

Editor’s NOTE: This may be the most important tech article we’ve run all year. It explains how you can suffer inner ear damage and hearing loss even if you use earplugs or muffs. Read that again — hearing loss even with typical hearing protection. This kind of concussive hearing loss can result from shooting with muzzle brakes in confined spaces. Using a suppressor (aka sound moderator) can reduce the risk of concussive hearing loss. You may not have the ability to use a suppressor, but this article explains how you should be more mindful of your hearing.

Why I Use a Suppressor (Preventing Concussive Hearing Loss)

Report by Mark Kuczka, Accurate Ordnance

It must have been the road noise. I thought I was having a hard time hearing my five year old daughter speaking to me on my cell phone because of the road noise. That old SUV was kind of loud inside. Until I switched the phone to my left ear and suddenly I could hear her just fine. Wait, what just happened? I moved the phone back to the right ear and there was that muffled voice again. That’s when I knew I had a problem.

“What?” Lots of us in the shooting community have lost some hearing along the way due to our time on the range or in the field. Those of us who hunt have certainly discharged a firearm or three without ear protection and without concern for our hearing. After all, it’s just one shot, right? How much can it hurt?

Actually, that one shot DOES hurt your hearing. Any sound over 140 dB is immediate hearing loss. It just happens to be killing a small amount of our hearing so most of us continued the practice without a care. Living with hearing loss now makes me wish I could go back 20 years and better protect my hearing. I can’t change what I did in the past, but going forward I can certainly do the most to protect the hearing I still have.

I decided to shoot about a year’s worth of matches with just braked rifles. That year is when I lost significant hearing in my right ear and some in the left. I’ve gone back to shooting only suppressed rifles whenever possible.

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

I shot my first suppressed firearm, a .22 LR pistol, in 2003. After a few rounds I wondered why everyone (who can do so legally) didn’t shoot suppressed? No one drives without a muffler. Why would you? Point is I immediately appreciated the hearing protection benefits of suppressors. That passion got me into the business of selling suppressors and it wasn’t long before I was one of the biggest retailers for companies like AAC, SWR, SilencerCo, Ops Inc. and others. [Editor: The author’s business, Accurate Ordnance, no longer sells suppressors. So this article is NOT a sales pitch. Mark just wanted to share his experience so others might protect their hearing.]

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

Did you know you can damage your hearing even if you are wearing the best hearing protection available? You’ve heard guys say, “I’ll wear plugs and muffs, so I’ll be just fine shooting that .50 BMG!” Well, ever heard of concussion (or concussive) hearing loss? Yeah, I hadn’t either. I’ll sum it up the way the last audiologist I spoke with about my hearing loss did – there is no amount of anything you can put in or over your ears to protect you from concussion loss.

A hand grenade went off right next to a buddy of mine. He lost some hearing as a result of the blast. No one is really surprised by that. I mean it is an EXPLOSION. It’s loud. Duh. But I had no idea the blast from a muzzle brake could basically hurt my hearing the same way. The doctor explained to me the concussion comes through the facial bone structure and damages the ear’s tiny bones. Same thing as what can happen through any TBI (traumatic brain injury).

Hearing loss diagram inner ear

I’ve owned quite a few different suppressors over the years and have shot just about everything out there. I’m still as big a fan as ever. However, I wanted to see if using a suppressor in PRS (Precision Rifle Series) and similar matches was actually a hindrance. Some people feel the added length and weight of a suppressor can make getting into some shooting positions slower or problematic. So I decided to shoot about a year with a muzzle brake instead of a suppressor. I sure regret that decision…

Getting Headaches at PRS Matches Was Warning Sign
It is fairly common in PRS matches to shoot through pipes, vehicles, inside “shoot houses” and around other obstacles that echo a rifle’s blast. I noticed I was starting to get headaches about halfway through a day of PRS match shooting. I knew the issue wasn’t hydration. I mean look, if you are peeing every other stage down at the amazing CORE range facility in mid-summer you are NOT dehydrated. So, what was causing the headaches? It wasn’t until I went back to shooting suppressed in those same environments that it became clear the little mini concussions from that muzzle brake was causing my headaches. And of course the doctors confirmed that.

Let me stop here and say I am NOT anti-brake. Muzzle brakes are useful tools and for some situations are the best tools. An aggressive brake can be more effective at reducing recoil than a good suppressor. A suppressor does add some recoil reduction, just not as much as most quality brakes. Don’t forget to factor other variables, such as caliber and rifle weight, into the equation though. For example, a 15-lb 6mm Creedmoor rifle doesn’t need much recoil reduction in the first place.

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

So, I started shooting matches long before the PRS even existed and always shot suppressed in those days. The suppressors made communication with a partner or RO easier and it was just a more pleasant shooting experience. On the recommendations of a few people I decided to shoot about a year’s worth of matches with just braked rifles. That year is when I lost significant hearing in my right ear and some in the left. I’ve gone back to shooting only suppressed rifles whenever possible and especially at matches. I’ve only once or twice found the extra length of the suppressor made it a little more inconvenient to run a stage, but not by much. Trust me, the points I missed were not because I took two extra seconds getting the muzzle in a port or window.

My hearing is something I value and will do everything to protect from this point forward. You’ll never again see me on a match field with an un-suppressed rifle. To me the minimal gains of running a braked rifle aren’t worth losing more hearing.

Choosing a Suppressor — What to Consider

Okay, so I have hearing loss that I can’t get back and realize I need to go back to shooting matches with a suppressor. But which one? I’ll still be shooting matches with custom fit plugs so I just need something to add a little recoil reduction and kill that concussion.

At our shop, Accurate Ordnance, we generally recommend direct-thread suppressor solutions to our customers. The main reason for that is all the problems we’ve seen with other fast-attach muzzle devices. It doesn’t take much tolerance stacking to result in accuracy issues. There are a few exceptions for us and the Rugged Suppressors products top the list. Since the Razor 762 uses a muzzle brake adapter on the rifle to attach the suppressor, I can use the same suppressor on my .223 Rem training rifle. My primary match rifles are chambered in 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor and the muzzle threads on those is a standard 5/8×24. My .223 Rem training rifle has .5×28 threads on the muzzle, which is standard for that caliber. Thus, the muzzle adapter interface lets me share the suppressors between all the rifles. And on that .223 Rem training rifle I have the option of switching the end cap on any of the Rugged products to a .223 aperture size, which makes the suppressors slightly more sound efficient (meaning quieter).

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tactical, Tech Tip Post comment »
April 20th, 2018

Store More Guns in Your Safe with Rifle Rod Kits

Gun Storage Solutions Rifle Rod Kit

Running out of space in your gun safe? Here’s a clever product that will allow you to store more long guns in your current vault. The plastic Rifle Rods from Gun Storage Solutions slip in long-gun barrels and then grip the shelf above using Velcro pads. This allows you to nestle your rifles and shotguns much closer together than with the conventional racks provided with most gunsafes. The rods are offered in bright orange or basic black. We prefer the safety orange rods (shown above with the Velcro “receiver” shelf liner provided with the Rod Kit).

Gun Storage Solutions Rifle Rod Kit

Rifles with narrow furniture (such as lever guns) can be placed very close together, saving lots of space. For benchrest or varmint rifles with wider fore-ends, you won’t benefit as much. Note that, in the photo above, all of the guns are fairly slim — none have wide fore-ends. Still we think these Rifle Rods could open up 12″ or more horizontal clearance in a medium-sized safe — that could easily allow you to store six (6) more guns in two rows, as shown.

Rifle Rod Kits Starting at $34.50
A kit with 10 Rifle Rods and loop fabric shelf liner costs $34.50 on Amazon.com, while the 20-Rod Kit with liner costs arond $55.00. That’s a lot cheaper than buying a new safe. A six-pack of additional black Rifle Rods costs $15.25 on Amazon. NOTE: To get the safety orange rods you may have to pay a few dollars more and order directly from Gun Storage Solutions.

WARNING: Always REMOVE Rod from barrel before taking gun to the range. Never place live ammunition in a gun with storage Rod in the barrel!

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product Post comment »
April 19th, 2018

New Practical/Tactical Podcasts Feature Gear and Match Reports

Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli

The Everyday Sniper Podcast is a streaming audio series about long range shooting, precision rifles, firearms, training, and industry updates. The podcast is a joint effort of Sniper’s Hide and Mile High Shooting. Podcast host Frank Galli is well known to precision shooters. Frank, a military veteran, is the founder of Sniper’s Hide, and he regularly tests tactical rifles and related equipment. He also runs the Sniper’s Hide Team Challenge each year. This year’s Challenge runs June 1-3 in Washington State.

For the Everyday Sniper podcast, Galli has brought together firearms industry experts, top gunsmiths, and ace shooters. They share their knowledge and on-the-range experience. You’ll find a wealth of information on tactical and long-range gear, plus tips on PRS competition and more.

Here are the three latest Everyday Sniper podcasts:

Everyday Sniper Episode 47:
Glen Seekins (Seekins Precision) Interview

April 18, 2018

This episode include Seekins After Action Report along with Glen Seekins interview. Frank notes: “During my ride back from Idaho I talk about my trip to Seekins Precision and then follow it up with my interview where we talk about Glen’s history and his six degrees of separation between Sniper’s Hide and Seekins.”

Download Episode 47 Podcast — Seekins Precision

Click to launch Podcast on Everyday Sniper Website:
Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli


Everyday Sniper Episode 46:
Magpul Pro 700, Bedding Chassis, Wind Video and more

April 17, 2018

Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli

Welcome to the Everyday Sniper Podcast. Frank here, Mike is at MHSA working the counter. In this episode we talk about the new Magpul Pro 700 Chassis, and the KRG Bravo Chassis. Other topics include: Wind Video, Technology Sucks, Suppressor Follow-up, Busted Shoulder.

Download Episode 46 Podcast — Magpul Pro 700 Chassis and More

Click to launch Podcast on Everyday Sniper Website:
Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli


The Everyday Sniper Episode 45:
Tripods, Truing, and Terrain

April 15, 2018

Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli

Mike and Frank return with Part Two of weekly recap conversation. In this episode, they expand on key points of the previous episode, and cover some additional topics:

Tripod Shooting – RRS
Positions with Tripod
Training getting in and out of position
Getting closer vs shooting subsonic
Seekins Precision Rifles
RRS Dovetail Accessories
SP10M vs SP10
AA Targets Truing Targets

Download Episode 45 Podcast — Tripods, Truing, and Terrain

Click to launch Podcast on Everyday Sniper Website:
Everyday sniper podcast Frank Galli


Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 19th, 2018

Three Under $300 — Trio of 9mm Carry Pistols All under $300.00

CCW 9mm 9x19mm Pistols Brownells Bargain Smith Wesson Walther Creed Ruger

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks (some of whom already own a full-sized pistol) ask: “What’s a good compact 9mm pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend about half that and still get a very good 9x19mm pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are three 9mm handgun options, all available now for well under $300.00. In fact, our third choice, the Ruger EC9, is currently just $209.99 at Brownells (with promo code). That’s just a few bucks over two hundred! It’s a buyers’ market right now…

1. Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE M8Y

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge.

SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL. Under $250.00 for a nice S&W Nine is a great deal.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99. NOTE: This item is currently back-ordered, but Brownells will honor your order at this price and deliver when back in stock. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
April 19th, 2018

Complete 6.5×47 Benchrest Rifle Build — Start to Finish on Video

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Argyle, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
April 18th, 2018

TECH Tip: TOP TEN Ways to Dry Wet Cartridge Brass

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

Many shooters these days clean their cartridge brass ultrasonically, or wet-tumble their cases with stainless media (above). Both methods get brass clean and shiny, inside and out. However, when those wet-cleaning processes are completed, you’re left with a pile of soaking wet brass. How do you dry your brass quickly and efficiently, without unsightly water spots? Read on for some great answers…

In our Shooters’ Forum, Forum Gold Member Terry asked: “How do you dry your brass after Ultrasonic cleaning?” In an interesting Reloading Forum Thread, many smart suggestions were posted. A dozen fellow members outlined a variety of effective case-drying procedures, which work equally well for both wet-tumbled brass and ultrasonically-cleaned cases. Here are the Top 10 brass-drying suggestions from our Forum members.

TOP TEN Ways to Dry Cartridge Brass After Wet Cleaning

1. Food Dehydrator — Shake the brass in towel to get the bulk of water off. Next leave in the food dehydrator for 45 minutes or until there are no signs of moisture inside the cases. — Lawrence97

2. Lyman 5-Level Case Drier — Rinse off cleaning solution(s), then load brass by type into racks in Lyman Cyclone Case Drier. This is easier to load/unload than food dehydrators and holds more cases.

Lyman Cyclone Case Drier

3. Hot Water + Compressed Air — Rinse all your cases as a batch using scalding hot water from the kitchen sink. Hot water evaporates off of brass very very quickly. Then hit them with compressed air. Takes 10 minutes. Simple. — SG4247

4. Oven Dry in Pre-Heated Oven — After pre-heating to 200° or so, turn off oven and put brass inside on a tray. Most important! Tell your wife what you are doing so she doesn’t crank it up to 425 to heat pizza! — MClark

NOTE: Many other members suggested oven drying at 150-200°. We recommend turning OFF the oven so you don’t cook your brass if you forget to remove the cases.

Dry Cartridge Brass heat gun5. Towel Dry then Warm with Heat Gun — Roll brass in a towel until no more water shakes out. Lay out on cardboard box top and blow off with Harbor Freight heat gun. $9.99 on coupon. Two minutes of heated air and about half hour of wait and they are good to go. This is with primers removed. — Shaggy357

6. Compressed Air, then Sun Dry Outside – I rinse the brass, then blow them out with compressed air. Then, dependent on the time of year, lay them on a towel in the sun. — HogPatrol

7. Dishwasher on Dry Cycle – In the winter, I drop my wet brass cases neck-down on the rack pegs in the dishwasher, then turn on the dry cycle. In the summer…well, I’m in Texas. They go to the porch for a bit. — Toolbreaker

8. Alcohol Rinse then Air or Oven Dry — Rinse in 90% Isopropyl alcohol and either let air dry or stick in 175° oven for half an hour. Alternatively, use a dehydrator. — Zipollini

9. Slow Air-Dry in Loading Blocks — I have a reloading block with holes drilled in it. I simply load the block up and let it air-dry in the cupboard for a couple of days. — JCS

10. Wipe with Towel Then Anneal Normally — This thread is stirring my OCD side. Seems complicated for just drying — my brass dries just fine when I anneal it. This entire process can’t take an hour per batch. When finished, the brass is cleaned, annealed, and ready to size. — CHLuke

  • Deprime, then tumble brass with stainless media, water, Lemishine, and dish detergent.
  • Shake them easily in a strainer to knock out most media then grab 4-5 pieces, shake them over the bucket for the last of the media then inside a towel.
  • Finally blow out the primer pockets and wipe with a towel, load in the Annealeez.

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
April 18th, 2018

.223 Rem for F-TR — Logical Choice for a Junior Shooter

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Jeremy Rowland decided to put together an F-TR rifle for his eldest daughter, who enjoys competitive shooting. For his daughter, Rowland chose the .223 Rem option because it has less recoil and components are less costly than the .308 Win. Here is Rowland’s account of how he developed a .223 Rem load. For more details (with data charts), read Jeremy’s FULL STORY on Sierra Bullets Blog.

Journey to Find a .223 Rem F-Class Load

by Jeremy Rowland, Reloading Podcast
My oldest daughter has been to several matches with me, and has even competed in several, using her .243. I decided this coming season (2016), she would compete with a .223 Rem in FT/R. Looking for a good starter rifle, I settled on the Savage Axis Heavy Barrel since it has a 1:9″ twist. This would be a great little rifle for her to learn on. The rifle was shot unmodified, as it came from the factory. A Sinclair F-Class Bipod w/micro elevation adjustment was fitted to the front.

Next came finding the components I wanted to use for her match loads. After spending hours and hours running numbers on JBM stability calculator as well as in my iPhone Ballistic AE app, the 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing® (TMK®) looked really good. So that’s what I decided to go with. I jumped in head first and ordered a bulk pack of the Sierra 69 gr TMKs. I had settled on Hodgdon CFE 223 since it shows good velocity. I decided to go with once-fired Lake City brass with CCI BR4 primers.

Next came the testing. I decided to run a ladder test (one shot per charge from min to max looking for the accuracy node). The ladder test ranged from 23.5 grains to 25.6 grains, in 0.3 grain increments.

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Ladder Test Conditions: Temp: 59.4° | Humidity: 63% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-12 mph

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Bullet: 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing®
Case: Lake City (mixed years, sorted by case capacity)
Primer: CCI BR4
Powder: Hodgdon CFE 223 (one round each from 23.5 to 25.6 grains)
Cartridge OAL: 2.378″
Base to Ogive: 1.933″ (.020″ off lands)

After his ladder test, Rowland settled on a load of 25.2 grains of Hodgdon CFE 223. He then fine-tuned his load with different seating depths: “I loaded up 5 rounds each at .020″ off lands, .015″ off lands, .010″ off lands, and .005″ off the lands. Here are the results from the best group for OAL/Ogive fine tuning. As you can see, I think I’ve found a winner in these 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKings.”

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Seating Depth Test Conditions: Temp: 36.3° | Humidity: 73.8% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-7 mph

This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Permalink - Articles, Reloading Post comment »
April 18th, 2018

Reading the Wind — Good Guidebook from M.Sgt. Jim Owens

Reading the Wind Jim Owens book CD DVD Creedmoor Sports

Readers often ask for a good, authoritative resource on doping the wind and reading mirage. Many of our Forum members recommended M.Sgt. Jim Owens’ Wind-Reading Book. With 22 sets of wind charts, this 166-page resource is offered for $14.95 in print format or $12.95 in CD format.

Owens’ Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques clearly explains how to gauge wind speeds and angles. Owens, a well-known High Power coach and creator of Jarheadtop.com, offers a simple system for ascertaining wind value based on speed and angle. The CD also explains how to read mirage — a vital skill for long-range shooters. In many situations, reading the mirage may be just as important as watching the wind flags. Owens’ $12.95 CD provides wind-reading strategies that can be applied by coaches as well as individual shooters.

As a separate product, Owens offers a Reading the Wind DVD for $29.95.

NOTE: The Wind DVD product is completely different than Owens’ $12.95 CD. The DVD is like an interactive class, while the CD is basically an eBook.

Played straight through, the DVD offers about 75 minutes of instruction. M.Sgt. Owens says “You will learn more in an hour and fifteen minutes than the host learned in fifteen years in the Marine Corps shooting program. This is a wind class you can attend again and again. [It provides] a simple system for judging the speed, direction and value of the wind.” The DVD also covers mirage reading, wind strategies, bullet BC and more.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills Post comment »
April 17th, 2018

Hey Rifle Guys — Why Not Try a Pistol Match for a Change?

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Most of our readers are rifle guys, but it’s fun to shoot a pistol match now and then. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and if you shoot IDPA (Int’l Defensive Pistol Assn.) matches, you can really win with a $400 pistol and $20.00 worth of bulk 9mm ammo. That’s a bargain compared to what you’ll spend on a competitive PRS or F-Class rig and custom hand-loads.

This Editor got his start in competitive shooting with local IDPA matches. I shot a Glock 34, and a SIG Sauer P226, and even did one match with a S&W Snubbie. I eventually settled on the SIG, as it fit my hand better than the Glock, was more accurate, and was every bit as reliable. The P226 also pointed better than the Glock for me — something that helps with target acquisition.

If you want to get into the IDPA game, Shooting Sports USA has a good article that explains the basic rules and classifications. IDPA is not your grandad’s bullseye pistol match. There is movement and action. Stages are timed, and competitors engage targets from cover if available. Singled-handed shooting is sometimes required, as is shooting while moving. You can compete with pretty much any handgun suitable for self-defense — but no $4000 Raceguns with fancy optics. The fact that you can be 100% competitive without spending a ton of money is what makes IDPA so popular.

Shooting Sports USA polled IDPA shooters at the 2016 IDPA Nationals to determine their favorite gun brands and models. The #1 choice was the 9mm Glock 34 for the SSP (Standard Service Pistol) and ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol) Classes. Next most popular was the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition
IDPA Gun Chart from Shooting Sports USA.

IDPA targetAlong with SSP and ESP, there are three other main IDPA classes: Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP) for .45 ACPs (mostly 1911 types), Concealed Carry Pistol (CCP), and Revolver (REV). All classes have a minimum power factor. Scores are based on time and shot placement on the IDPA target.

IDPA Scoring System
The official IDPA Target (right) has multiple scoring zones. If you don’t hit the target’s center mass zone or head zone (both appear green in illustration), you drop one or three points. Here’s the formula: Score (in seconds) = Time + Points Down + Penalties. In IDPA, “points down” (and penalties) are added to your time. If you hit the outer edge of the target, you get 3 points down. Nearer center can be 1 point down. Center hit or head shot is 0 points down. See IDPA Scoring for Dummies.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Five Tips for New IDPA Shooters

1. Dry-Fire Practice at Home
You can improve your grip and sight acquisition dramatically with 30 minutes of dry-firing every week. Get some quality snap caps and go to it. One tip — don’t do this in your back-yard if the nosy neighbors can see. We had one friend who was dry-firing in his yard and got an unexpected visit from the local police (with guns drawn). That can turn out badly to say the least…

2. Practice One-Handed Shooting (Both Strong-Hand and Weak-Hand)
Most of the worst misses I saw during IDPA matches were during stages requiring one-handed shooting. A lot of pistol shooters have spent all their time shooting two-handed. That’s the best technique, but in an IDPA match, you may be required to shoot one-handed. If you’re a righty, shooting with the left hand only will feel really weird, and your accuracy will be poor unless you practice. We suggest starting your one-handed training with a rimfire pistol, then transition to your centerfire pistol.

3. For 9mm, Don’t Bother to Hand-load Your Ammo
This may seem like sacrilege, but if you’re only shooting one match a month, it’s probably not worth the time and money to reload 9x19mm. I did reload my 9mm ammo on a progressive for a couple years. After looking at money and time, I just started buying commercial 9mm reloads which worked fine. I was only saving a few cents per round by reloading, and that wasn’t worth the time invested.

4. Get a Good Holster That Fits Right
In IDPA matches you normally draw from holster during the match. I saw a lot of people struggle because they had Kydex holsters that would not release easily, or leather holsters that fit too tight or rocked during draw. Try a few different brands at the local store.

5. Be Smooth, Be Calm, and AIM Your Shots
Many folks come into IDPA thinking it’s all about speed. But there are score zones on the official IDPA target, so you need to focus and AIM. Don’t just “run and gun”. If you stay calm, align your sights in the center of the target for EVERY shot, you will end up with a higher score with fewer “points down”. Speed will come with time. It is better to make sure each one of your shots is a hit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Handguns, News, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
April 17th, 2018

The Sky Is Not Falling — Firearms Industry Economic Report 2018

Firearms industry economic report 2018 NSSF

While the mainstream media attacks gun owners and blue state politicians demand new anti-gun legislation, the fact remains that the firearms industry is more important to the American economy than ever. CNN and MSNBC won’t tell you that the American firearms industry is very healthy, enjoying huge growth in the last decade.

In fact, Americans are buying more guns than ever, and spending more money on firearms accessories and ammunition, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report.

The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.4 billion in 2017, a 169 percent increase. In addition, the total number of full-time equivalent firearms industry jobs rose from approximately 166,000 in 2008 to almost 310,000 in 2017, an 87 percent increase.

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $51.3 billion in 2016 to $51.4 in 2017, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from approximately 301,000 to almost 311,000, a 3 percent increase in the same period.

Firearms Industry Tax Receipts Fund Conservation Programs
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO.

“We have increased our direct workforce by more than 7,000 in the past year alone, adding jobs that pay an average nearly $50,000 in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 144 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 104 percent, and state business taxes by 121 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2018 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid.

NSSF 2018 Firearms Industry Economic Impact Report »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
April 17th, 2018

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 16th, 2018

‘The Gunny’ Has Left the Range — Rest in Peace R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

Decorated U.S.M.C. veteran, competitive shooter, and actor R. Lee Ermey has passed away at age 74, due to complications from pneumonia. Known to friends and movie fans as “The Gunny”, Ermey will be missed. He was the real deal who exemplified the Marines’ motto: “Semper Fi” (Always Faithful). Earning fame as the Drill Instructor in the Hollywood movie “Full Metal Jacket”, Ermey appeared in over 70 films along with popular television series*. Even after becoming a famous actor, Ermey remained a serious marksman, shooting at Camp Perry and other venues with friends such as fellow Devil Dog Dennis Demille and Hornady’s Dave Emary.

Ermey won a Golden Globe nomination for his signature performance in “Full Metal Jacket”. That launched a new career as a Hollywood actor. Ermey eventually appeared in dozens of popular movies, including “Se7en,” “Prefontaine,” and “Toy Soldiers.” He also hosted successful cable television shows — the “Mail Call” and “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” series on the History Channel, followed by “Gunny Time” on the Outdoor Channel.

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket
R. Lee Ermey was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave Emary (left) and Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Philip Schreier, NRA Senior Museum Curator, said Ermey’s “support for the U.S. military was legendary, in particular, the Young Marines program, as well as his advocacy for veterans and their treatment at VA Hospitals.” (Read More). Ermey’s friend Bill Rogin said that “He will be greatly missed by all of us. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.” Rogin noted that while Gunny’s characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve. (Source: Fox News Report).

A member of the NRA Board of Directors and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views. “I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [History and Outdoor Channel Television Series shows]”.

Born in Kansas, Ermey joined the USMC right out of high school, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before being discharged in 1972. Ermey began his Hollywood career in 1979 as a technical adviser to Francis Ford Coppola, working on the Vietnam War film, “Apocalypse Now”.

Here are some comments from our Forum members, many of whom knew Ermey personally or met him at shooting matches:

“It is a sad day to lose someone who did so much for children behind the scenes. He was a great guy and a patriot. Semper Fi Gunny — may you rest with our lord Jesus Christ.” — J. Bearman

“I shot a mid-range match at Camp Pendleton where he and Donald Jr. were shooting on a team with Dennis Demille. They were pretty sharp! Nice guys every one. Sorry to see R. Lee go so young.” – Watercam

“29 Palms CA, I had the the pleasure to meet and shoot with Gunny Ermey. First class, all the way… Semper Fi and Godspeed Gunny.” — BPD 459

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

U.S. Marine Corps Service History
In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service. On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Commendations: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Unit Commendation

* Many biography statements say Ermey has “over 60″ film credits. Ermey himself told Fox News he appeared in “over 70 feature films”, so we use that number.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
April 16th, 2018

Bargain Finder 134: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

Bullets.com going out of business sale liquidation

This week will be a little different. Our First Five Products all come from Bullets.com. The reason is simple — Bullets.com is closing up shop, selling off its inventory. The items we list are all insanely good deals — many below cost. When was the last time you saw a premium Hodgdon powder for under $15 per pound? Or complete Redding die sets for under $50? Some of the product lines will still be carried by Grizzly.com, but bullets, brass, powder, and ammo inventories are being liquidated along with many reloading products and gunsmithing tools. You’ll find huge discounts on many top-tier products.

Here’s your chance to save big bucks on quality tools, shooting gear, and reloading components. Guys — take note: this is a unique opportunity to pick up some great products at truly rock-bottom prices. But remember this is an inventory close-out sale, limited to stock on hand. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

1. Bullets.com — Hodgdon, Alliant, VV Powder — Up to 50% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale powder hodgdon alliant Vihtavuori

Right now, Bullets.com has the best prices we’ve seen in a decade on some Hodgdon and Alliant powders. Vihtavuori fans will be happy too. NOTE: Over 28 powder types on are liquidation sale now — we just picked three to feature here. But you can see all sale powders on the Bullets.com Powder Page.

2. Bullets.com — Premium Bullets — Up to 50% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale bullets sierra berger nosler lapua

There are some great deals to be had here. Sierra’s latest High-BC 7mm Matchkings are available at huge discounts. And the superb Lapua Scenar-L bullets are offered too. These are some of the most consistent bullets we have ever tested. NOTE: Hundreds of bullet types from Berry, Lapua, Nosler, Sierra, and Speer on are liquidation sale now — we just picked three to feature here. But you can see all sale bullets on the Bullets.com Bullet Page.

3. Bullets.com — Redding Die Sets — Up to 65% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading die sizing Redding micrometer

Need high-quality dies for rifle or pistol reloading? Look no further. Bullet.com’s prices on Redding die sets can’t be beat. NOTE: Over 500 die sets or individual die types are on sale at killer prices — get a $40 sizing die for under 15 bucks. See all the die offerings on the Bullets.com Reloading Die Page.

4. Bullets.com — Norma Hunting Ammunition — Up to 65% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading die Ammunition Ammo Winchester Lapua Norma CCI Federal factory

Bullets.com is liquidating a wide selection of loaded ammunition. You’ll find pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammo from CCI, Federal, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Nosler, Sellier & Bellot, and Winchester (plus other brands). The Lapua ammo is some of the very best you can buy at any price. Rimfire fans will love the SK and Norma Rimfire ammo on sale. Here we feature three examples of Norma’s superb hunting ammo. You will find 120+ other ammo types on the Bullets.com Ammo Sale Page

5. Bullets.com — Shooting Rests — Up to 62% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading bald eagle front rest shooting tripod pistol rifle

Along with Ammo, Powder, Bullets, and dies, Bullets.com has many shooting accessories on sale. We’ve always liked the Bald Eagle Slingshot rest (with adjustable windage), and now you can get this for a fraction of the original cost. Equipped with a good front bag (sold separately), this rest is good enough for competition, and it is an excellent front support for load testing. Check out other shooting rest products on the Bullets.com Shooting Rest Page.


6. Whittaker Guns — Howa Mini Action .204 Ruger — $349.99

Howa 1500 varmint rifle mini action sale discount .204 Ruger

Oh heck — this is hard for a Varmint hunter to resist. You can get a complete Howa .204 Ruger rifle for $349.99 — about the price of a replacement barrel blank for a Remington. This little gem has a very smooth, short-throw Mini Action with Howa’s excellent two-stage trigger. The .204 Ruger chambering shoots fast and flat, and is a fine choice for prairie dog work. Yes we’d prefer a heavier barrel for extended shooting sessions, but this is still a great price on a fine little rifle.

7. Amazon — Jiallite Scope Bubble Level, $11.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jiallite Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — almost all verified buyers have rated this five stars.

8. GrabAGun — 6mm Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $879.00

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Get a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $879.00. That price is about $100-$120 less than other vendors, so this is a good deal. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge don’t hesitate. GrabAGun is offering this popular tactical rig for $879.00. The 6mm Creedmoor chambering shoots faster and flatter than the 6.5 Creedmoor — so many PRS guys have switched to it. This Ruger is a good choice for the PRS production class. This is the Gen 2 RPR with upgraded handguards. NOTE: GrabAGun’s price has changed four times in the last 48 hours, ranging from $843.15 to $879.00. It may be lower than $879.00 when you read this.

9. Midsouth — Hornady BTHP Varmint Bullets, $52.29 for 500

Bulk .22 Cal varmint hornady bullets BTHP Midsouth Shooters Supply Free Shipping .223 Rem .224 Bulk Bullets varmint soft point Hornady

Need a boatload of bullets for varmint safaris, or high-volume .223 Rem training sessions? Then check out this deal from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Right now you can get 500 .22-Cal 62gr BTHP bullets for $52.29. That works out to just $10.46 per 100 bullets. You can also get 250 for $28.29. If you have high-volume applications for .224-diameter projectiles, this deal is hard to beat. You could easily pay two times as much (per hundred) for similar bullets elsewhere. Buying in bulk saves big bucks.

10. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 16th, 2018

Smalbore Fun Shooting — Tips for Training and Free Fun Targets

.22 LR smallbore bang for buck rimfire tactical cross-training

So many options… How do you select the shooting discipline that’s best for you? Of course, “Fun is number one”. But you also need to consider cost — the “bang for the buck”. Or in more scientific parlance, the “Fun to Cost Ratio”. Yes, shooting a .50 BMG is fun, but you could be spending as much as $5.00 per round for factory loads! By contrast, your cost per shot in a rimfire fun match might be well under ten cents, as decent ammo can be easily found for under $5.00 per 50-count box. Five bucks per box (of fifty) sure beats five bucks per round!

We believe in the benefits of rimfire cross-training. With a rimfire rifle that has the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire rig, you can practice more often and more affordably. You can get decent rimfire ammo now for as little as seven cents per round*. Compare that to centerfire factory ammo at $1.40/round or handloads for about $0.70 (bullet, primer, powder, and brass depreciation). So even your handloads could cost TEN times as much as pretty good rimfire ammo. That’s an order of magnitude boys and girls.

McMillan A5 A5-22 stock rimfire tactical cross-training

For a tactical cross-trainer, you want a rimfire rig that feels like your centerfire rifle. McMillan now offers a stock that fits the bill. McMillan’s new A5-22 stock shares the same look and feel as McMillan’s popular A5 centerfire stock. The A5-22 is able to accommodate 10/22 type actions including KIDD 10-22 models with rear tang attachments. McMillan says: “The A5-22 is dimensionally the same as our standard A5 with some minor changes in the tang and floor plate areas. It is available in a fixed comb configuration or with an adjustable saddle-type cheek piece.”

Anschutz Biathlon rifle model 64
A used Biathlon trainer works great for rimfire practical matches. This is the Anschutz Model 64-R. Note magazine caddy on forearm. This rifle was a dream to shoot.

Targets for Rimfire Training and Fun Matches

Here’s a rimfire training target with “big to small” target circles. Start with the largest circles, then move to the smaller ones in sequence. This systematic drill provides increasing challenge shot-by-shot. Novices often are quite surprised to see their accuracy improve as they move from bigger to smaller aiming points. That provides positive feedback — always a good thing.

Right Click and “Save as” to download printable PDF versions of target.

Rimfire Practice Targets

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

Game Theme Commercial Targets — Fun and Colorful
Here are some colorful commercial fun targets, well-suited for rimfire practice. These game-theme targets from Champion should be very popular with kids. You can blast aerial drones, hunt dinosaurs, play a game of “H-O-R-S-E”, or shoot ducks in a Carnival Shooting Gallery. These targets, which cost $5.45-$5.95 per 12-pack, are ideal for younger shooters in your family (and fun for grown-ups too).

Champion Target Drone Dinosaur game shooting gallery color paper targets


* We recently scored 1500 rounds of Norma Match-22 ammo for $99.99 from MidwayUSA. That’s 6.6 cents per round! That deal is gone, but there are other bargains to be found. Use WikiArms.com to find .22LR rimfire ammo bargains.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills Post comment »
April 15th, 2018

Cartridge History: Ever Heard of the .244 Remington?

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 6 Comments »
April 15th, 2018

Video Takes You Inside Accuracy International Arms Factory

accuracy international suv AT

accuracy international suv ATWho wouldn’t like a look inside the Accuracy International (AI) factory in England? Thanks to The Telegraph, a British media outlet, you can do just that. The Telegraph got its cameras inside AI’s production facility “at a discreet location on the outskirts of Portsmouth”.

Accuracy International has introduced a number of new models in the past couple of years, including the modular, multi-caliber AXMC Rifle System, and the ATAICS Chassis for the Remington M700. Like the AI PSR system, the AXMC can be user-configured to shoot three different calibers: .308/7.62 NATO, .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum.

Watch the video below. NOTE — because this video is hosted in the UK, it may take a while to load while the digital packets swim across the Atlantic ocean.

This Accuracy International AT (on gimbaled mount) is not your average SUV Accessory.
accuracy international suv AT

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 14th, 2018

QuickLOAD Software — Get the Latest Update NOW

QuickLOAD QuickTARGET Reloading Software Update Windows CD CD-ROM v3.9 version 3.9

If you have an older version of QuickLOAD, such as V3.1 shown above, then you should definitely upgrade. This will give you more complete and up-to-date cartridge, powder, and bullet data files.

QuickLoad SoftwareGot QuickLOAD software? Then it’s time to upgrade your data files — new data became available in January 2018. The makers of QuickLOAD offer inexpensive CDs with updated data files (for propellants and projectiles). These data update CDs will add the latest available powder, cartridge, and bullet files to your current version of QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET.

There are two update CDs now offered with data current through January 2018. One handles the older installations, QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5. A second update CD works for QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET 3.6, 3.8, and early 3.9. This second disk is primarily a data update.

V3.9 Update CD for V3.0 – V3.5
V3.9 Update CD for V3.6 – early V3.9

Price for either update disk is $15.95. In North America, order from Neconos.com, or call 800-451-3550 (9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time). In the United Kingdom, you can get the update disk from JMS Arms, Merrivale, London Road, Handcross, West Sussex, RH17 6BA, England, Phone: 01444 400126. In Europe you can order direct from QuickLOAD’s creator: Ing. Hartmut Broemel, Neubrecker Weg 15, D-64832 Babenhausen, Germany, fax/phone (+49) 0 6073 688481

QuickLOAD is a pretty amazing program. Using information for over 1200 cartridges, 250 powders, and 2500 bullet types, QuickLOAD allows you to predict velocities and pressures for your hand-loaded ammo. You can check predicted pressures with different powder choices and seating depths before loading an actual round. If you do not yet own QuickLOAD, you can now order the latest Version 3.9 of this unique software. Priced at $152.95, the latest version 3.9 contains all the updates through January, 2018 and is compatible with WINDOWS 2000, XP, VISTA, Windows 7, Winows 8 and Windows 10. QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET 3.9 can be purchased for $152.95 from Neconos.com. For a full explanation of the features and benefits of QuickLOAD software, click the link below.

» » READ Full QuickLOAD Software Review

EDITOR’S Comment: We believe every serious rifle hand-loader should own and use QuickLOAD. We have used this program for over a decade. It is invaluable in load development, particularly when testing a variety of bullets and when changing seating depths. This software is NOT a substitute for standard, conservative reloading practices. However QuickLOAD can very surprisingly effective in comparing cartridge performance and predicting the effects of changes in charge weight.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, News, Reloading 13 Comments »
April 14th, 2018

Reloading Tip: Use Expander Mandrels with New Brass

Expander Mandrel reloading case neck tension cartridge brass

Before you load that nice new cartridge brass for the first time, run an expander mandrel down the case necks. This will iron out dents and provide more uniform neck tension. Chose a mandrel diameter that provides appropriate neck tension.

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. Keeping your neck tension very uniform allows more consistent bullet seating. That, in turn, usually yields better accuracy, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair Int’l and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) so you can then seat bullets without another operation. We suggest putting a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks — but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, is shown above. This $28.99 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($9.99) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. This is an updated “Gen II” design that completely captures the mandrel within the die so the mandrel cannot pull out. It also has an O-ring in the die cap that allows the mandrel to self-center within the case neck. Sinclair now offers three sizes of die bodies for expander mandrels: .17 -.338 Caliber (#749-011-715WS); .357 – .50 caliber (#749-008-843WS), and a special .50 Cal die body for large-diameter 50 BMG presses (#749-009-163WS, $39.99). All Generation II dies are machined from stainless steel and the standard diameter 7/8-14 dies include the Sinclair Stainless Steel Split Lock Ring.

Once you run the Sinclair expander mandrel down the necks of Lapua brass, after you account for brass spring-back, you’ll have about .002″ neck tension*. This will make the process of seating bullets go much more smoothly, and you will also iron out any dents in the case mouths. Once the case mouths are all expanded, and uniformly round, then do your inside neck chamfering/deburring. The same expander mandrels can be used to “neck-up” smaller diameter brass, or prepare brass for neck-turning.

Forum member Mike Crawford adds: “These expanders can also reduce runout from offset seating. Prior to bullet seating, expand the sized necks to force thickness variance outward. With the Sinclair system, the necks will springback fine, and will not be pulled out of center. This leaves plenty of tension, and bullets seated more centered. I do this, even with turned necks, to get improved seating.”

Mandrels vs. Expander Balls on Decapping Rods
If you haven’t acquired an appropriate expander mandrel for your brass, but you DO have a full-length sizing die with an expander ball, this will also function to “iron out” the necks and reduce tension. However, using a die with an expander ball will work the necks more — since you first size them down, then the ball expands them up again. Typically (but not always), run-out is worse when using an expander ball vs. an expander mandrel.


* This .002″ tension is what we have observed with Lapua 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win brass. This might vary with much smaller or larger cases, and of course a different brand of brass might yield different results. If you get too little tension with your current mandrel, you can get a smaller-diameter mandrel from 21st Century Shooting. 21st Century even offers low-friction Titanium Nitride-coated mandrels.

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April 14th, 2018

Zeiss Offers “Tax Refund Days” Promo on Conquest V4 Scopes

Zeiss Sports Optics Conquest V4 Tax Refund Promotion Discount saving

Here’s a good deal if you are looking for a new optic for your hunting or match rifle. For the next month, April 15 through May 15, 2018, Zeiss is running a great promotion on its latest Conquest V4 optics line. The Zeiss annual “Tax Refund Days” promotion cover the entire Conquest V4 family of riflescopes. These are 1-4x24mm, 3-12x56mm, 4-16x44mm, and 6-24×50 models, which range from $799.99 – $1199.99 MSRP. Purchase any of these Conquest V4s and receive a $100.00 immediate in-store accessory credit at time of purchase. Take advantage of this promotion through participating Zeiss Authorized Sports Optics retailers throughout the United States. This applies to online purchases as well — you just apply the $100.00 credit to other products the online seller offers.

“The Conquest V4 riflescopes are getting lots of attention and praise” says Barton Dobbs, Director of Sales for Carl Zeiss SBE, LLC Sports Optics. “We listened to our customers as to what they want and demand from a scope in this price category, and we enjoy hearing how much these customers like the modern features and the high level of performance the V4’s provide.” NOTE: Quantities are limited. To locate a participating retailer, or to find out more about Zeiss products, visit Zeiss Sports Optics.

Zeiss Sports Optics Conquest V4 Tax Refund Promotion Discount saving

Positive Feedback from Canadian Customers on Zeiss Conquest V4 Riflescopes
Precision Optics, a Canadian scope vendor, says buyers been very pleased with Conquest V4 scopes: “We have placed a LOT of the Conquest V4 and V6 riflescopes recently and can report overwhelmingly positive feedback.”

Accoring to Precision Optics, customers who have field-tested Conquest V4 scopes have consistently reported the following:

The scopes are lighter than expected, considering they have a 30mm tube and are very robust.

The optical performance is outstanding, and compares directly with the Zeiss Victory products, and indeed the Conquest V4/V6 products utilize the same coatings. Users report that … the V4 glass is clearer and brighter than Nightforce SHV/NXS products.

The V4 and V6 turrets track and are repeatable. Customers have run side-by-side tests and report that the V4/V6 scopes track just accurately as a Nightforce NXS[.]

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April 13th, 2018

Forum Member Carves Superb Maple Hunting Stock

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota
Believe it or not, this is the first stock Brett M. carved by hand. We’d say he did a darn good job!

AccurateShooter Forum member Brett M. from Minnesota (aka Spitfire_er) recently completed a handsome laminated maple gunstock. This beauty wasn’t produced with a stock duplicator. It was made the old-fashioned way — by hand. After laminating three sections, Brett carved the complete stock with hand tools. You can see the entire carving process, start to finish, in Brett’s time lapse video.

MUST-SEE time-lapse carving video. Every second is one minute in real time. This 15:54 video shows 15.9 hours of carving! Brett says the whole job took nearly 20 hours:

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett MinnesotaHandsome Maple Blank Was Lumber Yard Return!
Brett reports: “Here’s a stock I carved up over the past year or so. I found this wood as a return at a lumber yard about 7-8 years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was “That would make a nice stock!” I finally got around to finishing it a couple months ago.

I fit it around a 1917 Enfield in .338 WM that I purchased a while back. I usually do all the work on the receiver and barrel, but this one was done up in an OK fashion already.

This stock was almost completely made using hand tools over the course of about a year. This is a piece of laminated 1x8x1″ maple that was glued together. After it sat for about eight years, I finally got around to carving it up. This stock design/shape was from my own ideas and was carved as I went along. It turned out pretty good.”

Maple laminate figured wood carved carving .338 Win Mag rifle stock Brett Minnesota

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